The Coherence Theory of Truth: Russell’s Worst Invention?

Stewart Candlish, Nic Damnjanovic


In his 1989 book, The Coherence Theory of Truth: Realism, anti-realism, idealism, Ralph Walker attributed the coherence theory to various people, ranging from Spinoza to a temporal stage of Wittgenstein. I give a brief account of the origins of the idea that there is something properly called the ‘coherence theory of truth’, explicitly embraced by some philosophers and legitimately attributable to others. An examination of even the textbook ‘coherence theorists’ reveals that none deserves the label. Attempts to pin this label onto someone, even oneself, fail for good reason: ideas initially framed in coherentist jargon quickly mutate, as so-called coherence theorists, when put under the modest pressure involved in moving from slogans and rhetoric to the articulation of a theory, flee in different directions.


20th century philosophy; philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; British idealism; correspondence theory of truth; monism; multiple relation theory of judgment; Bradley Francis Herbert; theory of truth

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.